Who was the author? The prophecies in the book of Hosea was inspired by the Holy Spirit through the son of Beeri named Hosea, the prophet who apparently was born and active in the northern kingdom (variously called "Israel" or "Samaria") before the Assyrians destroyed it, although he may or may not have recorded them.
What is the book? The book records prophecies God made through Hosea during his at least 27 years of service.
Where was it written? The book may well have been finished in Judah after the fall of Samaria.
When was it written? Hosea's dates of activity are given as 750-715 B.C., with the fall of the northern kingdom coming in 722 B.C., so the book was probably written some time after 722 if not after 715.
Why? God's prophecy through Hosea calls people to repent from failing to acknowledge God and promises them compassion and love despite their previous failures, just as God calls us to repent and find forgiveness by grace through faith in Jesus Christ.
How? Hosea's family life is used to represent God's relation to Israel early in the book. Also, imagery that recalls Israel's exodus from Egypt and settlement of Canaan are used to describe Israel's eventual return from exile. And, later the prophecy uses the father-child relationship to illustrate God's intimate covenant relationship with His people.
For further reading on the book of Hosea:
- Keil, C.F. and F. Delitzsch. Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament, Volume X: Minor Prophets , translated by James Martin and published as two volumes in one. Grand Rapids, Michigan: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, reprinted March 1986. (There are some 167 pages on Hosea.)
- Kretzmann, Paul E. Popular Commentary of the Bible: The Old Testament, Volume II, The Poetical and the Prophetical Books. St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1924. (This volume, one that is in our Grace library, has 17 pages on Hosea.)